Anyone who is or has been a smoker knows how difficult it can be to quit. But whether you’ve been smoking for two years or twenty, smoking can and does harm your health. Experts keep telling us that the healthier we are when we enter our retirement years, the more we will enjoy them. This is true, but we’d like to add more money to that equation as well.
The money a pack-a-day smoker spends on cigarettes, when invested can actually add up to a significant amount – over $70,000 over two decades – when placed into a savings account. And so in effect, the money you invest after quitting smoking can actually benefit your retirement planning.
The Government Is Cracking Down Anyway
Governments around the world are increasing the taxes on cigarettes as they limit the number of public places that you can go for a puff. Therefore, what it may come down to is either enjoying your savings by quitting smoking, or getting that instant gratification as you pay more for cigarettes. However, if you’ve made the decision to quit, the next thing to decide is how you are going to treat your saved money.
Quitting Tactic: Trade Cravings for Money
Try this tactic if you want to start saving money and cut down on your smoking at the same time. Whenever you have the craving for a cigarette, grab a dollar and put it away into a piggy bank, jar, or other safe place. Just as the money in your family’s ‘swear jar’, your craving money can add up much faster than you think. Plus, it will provide a tangible, visual reminder of the benefits of quitting smoking.
How much you could save each month by quitting will depend on how much you smoke per month. But you can keep track of this amount by starting a bank account just for your ‘craving jar’ savings, and placing your monthly collection into it. Once you’ve figured out an average monthly amount, you can arrange to have that amount automatically moved into your new bank account. You may be surprised at how quickly you can purchase larger-ticket items once these deposits begin.
How to Use Your Savings
Once you’ve saved up a significant amount, consider whether it can be put toward enhancing the quality of your impending retirement. Could you increase your mortgage payment or pay off some debt? Even if you only do one thing or the other, this could mean thousands more when you finally do retire.
You can also use your savings for fun times in the future. Instead of making a big purchase now, you can think about topping up your superannuation. Or, if your retirement planning is already concluded, you can consider putting that money toward the future of a child or grandchild. Either way, you can assure yourself of an enjoyable future filled with several rewards.
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